A costly divorce

January 19, 2009

Husbands contesting maintenance claims beware! If the matrimonial court finds that you concealed real income to pay less to your estranged wife, it can from now on order maintenance entirely based on her standard of living before the separation and #8230; and it could prove much more costly. This is how the Delhi High Court asked Karun Raj Narang, a top official with the healthcare company Eastern Medikit Ltd to pay Rs 1,25,000 per month interim maintenance to his wife Radhika in place of Rs 40,000 per month awarded by a lower court.

Narang was also directed to provide a new Honda City car with petrol and a driver at his own cost for the day-to-day requirements of Radhika and their three children. The husband is also to provide her a two-bedroom house with a drawing and dining rooms with an extra room in any of the colony in South Delhi, specifying that it should not be more than five to seven km away from the school of their children.

The Bench accepted Radhika’s submission that before the matrimonial dispute she was Director of the company owned by the Narangs and enjoyed all facilities, including a chauffeur driven car but was removed from the post after she moved court seeking maintenance. “Courts have to ascertain the true circumstances of a given case while awarding maintenance.

Where the income of the husband is concealed and it is difficult to ascertain the correct position, the court may fix the amount based on factors which were in existence before the souring of the relation as we have done in the present case,” said Justices Mukul Mudgal and Manmohan. Radhika’s lawyer Y P Narula told the court that the amount awarded by the lower court was wholly inadequate keeping in view the husbands income, his assets and also the lifestyle to which both the parties had been used to during the period they were together.

Narula pointed to the observations by the lower court that the husband had withheld his income and his interests in various companies. “The purpose of providing maintenance in our view is meant to secure to a wife as far as possible the status and facilities enjoyed by her prior to her separation from her husband.

The determinations of maintenance not being governed by any rigid rules give enough discretion to the court to do justice”, said the court. Appearing for Narang, senior lawyer KTS Tulsi said though the wife had based their case on the existence of the joint family property, yet all the maintenance had to be paid by the husband.

He also pleaded that since Narang did not own the company, entire property did not belong to him. Citing a Supreme Court judgment, Tulsi also submitted that landed property cannot be considered for maintenance.

But the court was not convinced.

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Women who project themselves as confident and ambitious in job interviews are perceived as highly competent but lacking in social skills.

Women who present themselves as modest and cooperative, while well liked, are perceived as low on competence.

However, confident and ambitious male candidates are viewed as both competent and likable and therefore are more likely to be hired as a manager than either confident or modest women.

Julie E. Phelan, Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, and Laurie A. Rudman of Rutgers University taped both male and female applicants interviewing to be a computer lab manager.

All applicants presented themselves as competent, but also as either confident and ambitious or modest and cooperative. Participants then evaluated the applicants’ competence, social skills, and hirability.

Results show how disparate hiring criteria further discriminates against ambitious, competent women, said Rutgers release.

When judging the ambitious women’s hirability, a perceived lack of social skills formed the basis of the hiring decision, and the womens’ high competence was relatively neglected.

For ambitious men, however, perceived competence and interpersonal skills were weighed equally in the hiring decision. Hence women were doubly disadvantaged because evaluators emphasised their relatively low competence and discounted their (high) social skills.

The study was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly.

TVS Motor Co, India’s third-biggest motorcycle maker, has cut prices across categories by up to 2,000 rupees, following a 4 percent reduction in India’s central value-added tax to customers, a top official said.

“The overall range of price cuts varies between 700-2,000 rupees for all scooters and motorbikes,” H.S. Goindi, senior vice president of sales, told Reuters.

“We have passed on the benefits (of the excise duty cut) to the customers,” he added.

The revised prices have come into effect from Wednesday morning, Goindi said.

Is the daily glass of fruit juice during breakfast not helping you maintain weight? Well, then swap it with skim milk and see those love handles disappearing. That’s the conclusion of a new research by Aussie researchers.

The study, quite contrary to weight-gain fears surrounding dairy products, has suggested that a glass of milk with your cereal or toast is more effective at ceasing your appetite at lunchtime than a morning juice drink.

“While it might not help you lose weight, it seems definitely to suppress the appetite enough to help you keep it off. That really goes against what most people understand about dairy products,” theage.com.au quoted lead researcher Dr Emma Dove, from the School of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Western Australia, as saying.

For the study, the researchers recruited 34 people and gave them juice one day and milk on another, and both times supplied them with a big platter of sandwiches four hours later.

The results indicated that after drinking milk, participants tended to eat 10 per cent less and even rated themselves as feeling much fuller and more satisfied.

Dove claimed that skim milk and juice had the same energy content, but it was the higher protein content of milk that gave it that extra edge in losing weight.

“There are probably lots of mechanisms at play but we think it comes down to the activation of different types of hormones related to appetite, and how slowly milk moves through the digestive system. So there’s a message here that a change like this could potentially help with weight management,” she said.

The study will be presented at a medical research conference in Brisbane.

Rival private airlines Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, with a collective market share of over 58 per cent, announced a strategic alliance to help them reduce cost and enhance efficiency.

The alliance, announced in a late night press conference, will involve code-sharing on domestic and international flights, an interline agreement, joint fuel management, common ground-handling services and cross-selling flights through the global ticketing system.

The two have also agreed to cross-utilise crew on similar aircraft types and use common training facilities. Passengers can also use frequent flyer programmes by flying in either of the airlines.

The two companies, however, clarified that there will be no equity investment in each other’s company. A formal merger of the two airlines would not have been possible because the country’s competition laws mandate that airline companies cannot have a market share of over 40 per cent after they merge. Jet Airways shares jumped by 10 per cent and Kingfisher 28 per cent today, ahead of news of the impending alliance.

“Such alliances are taking place all over the globe such as the one with United with British Airways. This is the first such alliance in India,” said Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet Airways. “It is not a cartel but essentially meant to save costs as airlines are losing money,” he added.

“This alliance will result in major cost saving, improve efficiencies through network synergies and cross-selling. If the airlines save money they will pass it on to consumers,” said Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya.

Both airlines are in the red. Kingfisher Airlines made a loss of over Rs 1,000 crore and Jet Airways Rs 806 crore in 2007-8. The two financially strained companies have also been looking at raising over $1.2 billion (Jet for $800 million and Kingfisher $400 million) to finance expansion plans but have found it difficult to do so, especially after the US financial meltdown.

Jet, for instance, postponed its rights issue and has been looking for strategic investors instead. Mallya recently said he would not mind divesting 26 per cent to foreign airline companies if the government allowed it.

Both airlines, which have a combined workforce of around 19,000 (of which Jet has 12,000), have trimmed staff by over 2,000 in the last few months.

Jet Airways, which bought Air Sahara (renamed JetLite) in 2007, reduced staff strength by 1,200 and followed it up with a voluntary separation scheme for another 750 employees. Kingfisher, which bought Air Deccan in December 2007, reduced its staff by only 350 recently.

The two airlines have had a combined fleet of over 189 aircraft, making it much bigger than state-owned Air India (the entity formed after the merger of Air-India and Indian Airlines) with 149 p lanes. The combine will fly 927 domestic flights and 82 international flights a day.

American economist Paul Krugman on Monday won the 2008 Nobel prize for economics for work that helps explain why some countries dominate international trade.

Here are some key facts on the winner and the prize:

* The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the prize recognised Krugman’s formulation of a new theory to answer questions such as what is driving worldwide urbanisation.

* Krugman’s work has integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography, the prize committee said.

* His new theory sheds light on why global trade is dominated by countries that not only have similar conditions, but also trade in similar products.

* Krugman has criticised the administration of President George W. Bush for policies that he argues led to the current financial crisis.

* Krugman’s theories have helped explain how self-reinforcing processes of urbanisation and increased large-scale production, as well as higher real wages and a more diverse supply of goods, can combine to divide regions into a high-technology urbanized core and a less developed periphery.

* Krugman was born in New York City in 1953 and received a PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

* He has been professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University, New Jersey, since 2000.

* Krugman has written for publications such as the New York Times and Foreign Affairs and is the author of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals.

* He has also taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford University.

* His current work centres on economic and currency crises.

Six convicts were on Wednesday awarded death sentence by a court in Bhandara in the Khairlanji Dalit murder case in which four members of a family were killed in 2006.

The district and sessions court also awarded life imprisonment for two others convicted in the case on September 15.

Those given death sentence were Sakru Binjewar, Shatrughan Dhande, Vishwanath Dhande, Ramu Dhande, Jagdish Mandlekar and Prabhakar Mandlekar.

Gopal Binjewar and Shishpal Dhande were awarded life sentence.

CBI’s counsel Ujjwal Nikam expressed satisfaction over the verdict saying it will restore harmony in the society.

The accused were arrested two days after four persons of a Dalit family – Surekha Bhaiyalal Bhotmange, her daughter Priyanka and sons Sudhir and Roshan – were killed on September 29, 2006 over a land dispute in Khairlanji village of the district in Vidarbha.

Surekha’s husband Bhaiyalal is the only surviving member of the family.

The victims were beaten to death and their bodies were thrown into a canal in the village, the prosecution said.

The incident had evoked violent reactions across Maharashtra and drawn flak from various quarters following which the state government had handed over the case to CBI.

Three other accused – Mahipal Dhande, Dharampal Dhande and Purushottam Titarmare – have been acquitted due to lack of evidence.